"When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it." (Matt 14:23,24).
Alone in a fishing boat, adrift in a storm. Streaks of lightening momentarily illuminate the remnants of the sail, ripped to sheds by the roaring wind, while the sound of the thunder is almost completely masked by the crashing of the waves, pounding the boat's wooden sides. Every moment might very well be the last for the tiny vessel and it's precious human load, and in their anguish and despair, the men cry out to God.
Of course He hears them. He always does! "During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake." (Matt. 14:25). Jesus Himself walks out on the water to meet the disciples! What a precious Lord! He could have simply spoken from the shore and the waves would have obeyed; but instead He tries something more unique, more "God-like", yes, definitely something that only God could do! What an expression of love! What an opportunity for trust in God to grow to exceeding lengths! What a direct answer to prayer!
So as the occupants of the boat see Jesus approaching on top of the water, they immediately bow down and begin praising God for delivering them, right? I mean, it's what you or I would have done, right? Well . . . Maybe not . . . "When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear." (Matt. 14: 26)
God sent help in a most unique way, and the disciples respond by crying out in fear: "It's a ghost!"
How often do we reject help from God because it doesn't fit the mold we've got established in our minds? Perhaps the one sent to help us isn't dressed very nicely, and we don't really want him to come near our children! Or maybe doctrinal beliefs confound us, hold us back from seeing -- and believing -- the truth!
Lord God, bind up the confusion, the fog, the haze that the enemy delights in putting over our eyes so that we cannot even recognize the answers to our prayers. Open our eyes, our ears, our minds, so that when the answer to our prayers does arrive, we will recognize it, accept it, and praise God for hearing and answering our prayers!